After the COVID-19 pandemic had passed, schools and workplaces quickly returned to normal; people resumed their normal lives; yet for many others the world would never be the same again.
Patients are demanding a more transparent and accountable health system, including alternatives to the traditional fee-for-service model. Data has the power to deliver what patients want – harness it!
The shift to alternate sites of care
Many healthcare trends will persist into 2023, but some of the most significant will center around workforce issues. A key concern is stress and burnout that’s been plaguing healthcare profession. Studies show clinicians are reporting increased emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and burnout as evidenced by clinical reports – something experts expect will only continue.
Hospitals should expect staffing issues as well as declining patient volumes due to COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing decreases in Medicare reimbursement rates, while most hospital and health system leaders polled by HFMA predict emergency department visits will increase by at least 10 percent this year.
As a result, health system leaders must assess which alternate sites of care are most vital and plan how best to engage them in order to maximize growth opportunities – these could include ambulatory surgical centers, home health providers, long-term and skilled nursing facilities as well as infusion therapy providers.
The shift to value-based care
Value-based care (VBC), unlike the fee-for-service model that has existed since the 1980s, reimburses healthcare providers based on clinical and claims data to better ensure better patient outcomes and greater value delivered while simultaneously cutting costs. This method should lead to improved patient care outcomes with decreased costs associated with healthcare systems.
Value-based care success requires clearly articulated goals with accompanying financial incentives that are timely, tailored to provider results and large enough to alter behavior.
Benefits of value-based care (VBC) include improved patient outcomes, lower long-term healthcare costs, and enhanced patient satisfaction. VBC can also be an efficient way to manage patient populations, helping reduce hospital readmissions and utilization rates. However, its implementation can present unique challenges; many value-based groups contract with narrow networks of specialists and medical centers to keep costs under control and thus limit patients access to specialized care.
The shift to preventative care
One of the key healthcare trends of 2023 will be a move toward preventative healthcare services. Primary care providers remain an integral component of patient-centric care, but with new tools and incentives they may be better equipped to offer preventive services.
Even with advances in medical science and technology, most healthcare systems still take a reactive approach that relies on diagnosing and treating diseases after they have already emerged – which can be costly while often leading to inferior health outcomes.
Preventive healthcare services help individuals stay healthy, avoid disease, live productive lives and reduce costs; yet due to financial barriers such as deductibles and copayments many do not access these essential healthcare services.
Healthcare providers must implement policies and interventions to promote healthier lifestyles, such as regular physical activity and eating a well-balanced diet. Furthermore, they should address socioeconomic factors that contribute to unhealthy habits or potentially preventable diseases.
The shift to patient expectations
Patients expect healthcare organizations to communicate with them in a way that’s as seamless, convenient, and transparent as retail communications are in retail settings. Patients want the option of managing their healthcare information on platforms they already use for shopping, banking and social media use.
They want to know exactly which services they’re waiting for and why, with simple time indicators. Although they accept some wait time, they don’t expect to feel ignored or unheard.
As healthcare organizations recover from the disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, they find themselves thrust into an entirely different service environment in which patient expectations have changed and place immense strain on healthcare industry leaders. Understanding trends driving patient demands can assist healthcare leaders in making strategic decisions and creating sustainable business models to better deliver services at appropriate times – an essential step toward creating better results both for industry and consumers alike.